Fashion chain C&A to restructure headquarters due to disappointing online sales
Budget fashion chain C&A is going to restructure its Belgian headquarters due to disappointing online sales results, reports trade union ACV Puls. It is still unclear how many layoffs the restructuring will entail.
C&A is an international fashion retailer with European headquarters in both Vilvoorde (Belgium) and Düsseldorf (Germany). The low-cost fashion chain operates in several European countries and Brazil, and licenses its C&A brand for stores in Mexico and China.
The restructuring of the chain's Belgian headquarters was announced on Friday during a special works council. The plans would affect only the company's head office in Vilvoorde, which employs some 400 people.
According to the union, the restructuring is prompted by disappointing online sales figures. "Online sales at C&A have been a tale of financial difficulties and shifting budgets, but the results have lagged," said Jörgen Meulders of ACV Puls. "Even before the Covid-19 crisis, C&A was not keeping up with the online story, and developments in recent years have not helped."
The announced restructuring is a source of concern for the trade union. "The loss of employment is always a difficult story." Meulders calls for clarity on the number of possible layoffs. "We understand that C&A is in difficult waters due to disappointing online sales results, but now is the time for clarity."
The reorganisation is already the third one in five years. "A number of tasks will be moved to the hub in Düsseldorf in this restructuring," says Meulders. "The same thing happened last year: a number of people were transferred from Vilvoorde to Düsseldorf. Having to move from Vilvoorde to Düsseldorf is obviously not a self-evident situation for an employee." The Belgian and German head offices are about 200 kilometres apart.
In a written response, C&A's management says the "planned changes are intended to improve the efficiency and resilience of the chain". The changes are necessary to put consumers front and centre, says C&A. The management also points to "challenging economic conditions" as grounds for the reorganisation.
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